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UC Davis Vets to Treat Filipino Dog with Catastrophic Injury

Posted: Oct. 14, 2012, 7:50 p.m. EDT

Veterinary specialists at the University of California, Davis, will perform a pair of surgeries on a Filipino dog whose snout and upper jaw were severed when she jumped in front of a motorcycle headed toward two young girls, the university reported.

The dog, Kabang, was injured in December and received antibiotics from Anton Lim, DVM, MBA, but the Filipino veterinarian did not have the capability to operate.

Filipino veterinarian Dr. Anton Lim and veterinary medical student Heather Kennedy perform and intake exam on Kabang, a Filipino dog being heralded as a hero after being disfigured in a motorcycle accident.
Filipino veterinarian Dr. Anton Lim and veterinary medical student Heather Kennedy perform and intake exam on Kabang, a Filipino dog being heralded as a hero after being disfigured in a motorcycle accident. Photo credit: UC Davis

Kabang’s story gained traction as websites and blogs heralded the dog’s action to save the girls as heroic. The stories led to a grass-roots campaign to raise money to transport the dog and Dr. Lim from the Philippines to UC Davis, where the duo arrived last week.

“Kabang has suffered catastrophic injuries to her face,” said Boaz Arzi, DVM, a surgeon at the UC Davis veterinary teaching hospital. “While we had consulted over photos and video, we were not able to make a proper determination of the care we would be able to offer Kabang until we examined her in person.”

Following an initial examination, Dr. Arzi and his colleague Frank Verstraete, Dr.Med.Vet., Dipl. AVDC, Dipl. ECVS, Dipl. EVDC, determined that the dog likely will need two surgeries. The first will focus on dental work, and the second will try to close the gaping wound on the dog’s face.

A full health exam and diagnostic tests revealed that Kabang has other ailments that will delay the surgeries, Jane Sykes, B.V.Sc., Ph.D., Dipl. ACVIM, director of the small animal clinic at the teaching hospital reported today. The dog has heartworm disease and a Transmissible Venereal Tumor, which has a 90 percent survivability rate when treated with chemotherapy.

Specialists initially anticipated that Kabang’s stay at UC Davis would last about six weeks, but due to the existing conditions, the dog could be in California for six months, depending on how it responds to treatments.

Despite Kabang’s startling appearance, the specialists have no plans to add a prosthetic jaw or snout.

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